The 40-minute flight took us along the South Thompson river, over the town of Chase, into the Shuswap valley, over Squilax (one of the oldest native communities in Canada), and to the South Shores of Shuswap lake where we landed at the Shuswap Regional Airport in Salmon Arm.
We had quite a tail-wind pushing us on towards the Shuswap, which made for a few bumps as we passed over the Valley-View area, but was otherwise welcome since it probably shaved 10 minutes off the trip. The Shuswap valley is made up of 4 (or 5 - depending on how you count them) interconnected lakes. The town of "Chase" marks an abrupt transition from the desert-like Thompson-river valley to the oasis-like Shuswap.
Squilax use to have a grass & gravel airstrip - which is still there, but now abandoned. Flying over we could see that it was pretty torn up by what looked like off-road vehicle tracks. Too bad. It would have made for a cool place to land.
We turned right at Squilax and followed the highway through a wide, grassy pass for a straight-in approach to Salmon Arm airport.
We parked our trusty steed by the "Club" building, called a taxi to get us into town, and went inside to wash our hands and use the bathroom. Inside we discovered that we could have borrowed a free courtesy car if we had only known (and provided a few hours notice). Something to keep in mind for next time.
A 10-minute taxi ride took us into the heart of Salmon Arm and down to the "Wharf" - a sunny grass-covered area behind the old Prestige hotel right along the south shore of Shuswap lake. The area is a nesting ground and we found many pairs of ducks sunning themselves on the grasses.
We sat at a park bench in the grassy area and had our picnic lunch. Then we headed out to the raised walkway behind the hotel. The walkway passes right over the dry grasses where we got a great view of the bay and pairs of nesting ducks.
After our "duck vieweing" we headed out onto the beach area - which was pretty. The water is pretty low at this time of year, so the ground was soft and muddy. We learned that if I had an Indian Name, it would be "One who finds all the quicksand". Janine, of course. walked over it all just as easily as one of the ducks.
Another quick adventure made possible by our little plane.